We'll be watching the NCAA championship game at my house tonight, but we're just as excited about the announcement today of the four finalists in Women on 20s' campaign to put a woman on the $20 bill: Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, and Wilma Mankiller.
My 10-year-old daughter, Jane, was one of the 255,000 people who voted in the past five weeks for their three favorites out of the fifteen candidates. I'd originally heard about the campaign from her teacher, because Clara Barton—whom Jane had written a report about earlier this year—was one of the candidates. Although Clara didn't make it to the final four, Jane was thrilled to be able to cast her vote just like adults could.
She thought it was particularly cool that a 9-year-old girl was the one who came up with the idea in the first place, and wrote to President Obama to ask why don't women have coins or dollar bills with their faces on them. Now the organization, Women on 20s, is working to putting a woman on the $20 (sorry, Andrew Jackson) in time for the 100th anniversary in 2020 of the passage of the 19th amendment that gave women the right to vote. The President can order the Secretary of the Treasury to change the portrait on paper money.
Last week, I happened to speak with Parents advisor Deborah Stipek, Ph.D., dean of the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, about ways to help elementary school kids like Jane stay excited about school—at a time in their lives when it seems like there's more work than play. Dr. Stipek, the author of the terrific book, Motivated Minds: Raising Children to Love Learning, thinks that one key is to show your child ways that what she's learning in school relates to the real world. So Women on 20s was perfect timing for us.
Diane Debrovner is the deputy editor of Parents and the mother of two daughters. You can follow on Twitter at @ddebrovner.